The Trailer Of “Queen of Katwe” Is So Proudly African It Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes


Disney may just have made a play for the heart of every African with the colorful story of the Queen of Katwe.

It is based on a book by Tim Crothers, directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax), produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling Limited) and John Carls (Where the Wild Things Are) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers.

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The film has as its starring cast, Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma), Oscar winner and Tony Award  nominee Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, but none of those may impress you and we did not expect them to.

The beauty comes together in the trailer for the movie, which was released fairly recently and will bring tears to your eyes and make you proud of your roots.

The Queen of Katwe gives us the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Disney’s Queen of Katwe will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016 and while we may have to wait a bit longer to see it, we can still rejoice that our country is getting a fair representation and the determination and community mindedness that is so much a part of African societies will be seen by the world.

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This may be an overstretch for a movie where we have only seen the trailer but even YouTube’s synopsis of the movie holds yet more hope;

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle.

Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads.

When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game.

Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed.

As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life.

Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.